A few weeks ago, some friends and I tried to raise the dead. I’m amazed even as I write this. What audacity we had in thinking we could raise the dead. I mean, just thinking about this was totally out of my paradigm a few months back, let alone actually going for it. And yet this group of foolish believers desired to take God at His Word and believe that Matthew 10:8’s call to “raise the dead” is something that applies to us. Curry Blake has got to take a large part of the blame for such foolish thoughts and actions on our part, since his teachings have challenged us to obey the plain meaning of Scripture and believe that we too are called to raise the dead.
Here’s the story. I got to know this person (A) through my blog about two months ago. We met for the first time at Mike Reyes’ meeting, after which three friends and I went to A’s place to pray for a family member who was in a bad state – cancer, tumor, etc. We prayed for about 30 minutes and saw improvement. Some of us came back 2 other times to pray for him but soon the person suddenly died. Having also been influenced by Curry’s teachings, A called us to raise the dead. Some of us went and prayed to raise the dead for about 3-4 hours on the day of the death and 1-2 hours the next day. We still continued to believe even as we went to the wake and the service.
How exactly did we pray to raise the dead? What exactly did we do and say for the many hours? Well, none of us had ever done this before and maybe what we did wasn’t correct, but we did what we would do with a sick person. I’m still pondering over short faith-filled prayers vs. continued long prayers and the tension between aggressiveness and rest. For example, do we just pray a short prayer of faith and believe that the person will be healed or raised from the dead eventually, or do we continue to pray until the person is healed on the spot and the person rises from the dead there and then? If we pray for a long time, is that an expression of a lack of faith and trying to “work” for the healing (thus not “resting” in the finished work), or is praying a long time good because it expresses the aggressiveness needed to see the healing (raising from the dead) manifest?
Anyway, we declared the truth of God over the person, we sang and worshiped God, we spoke to the person to wake up and arise as Jesus did in Scriptures and we laid hands on the body and imparted life. When the casket guy was on the way to pick up the body, the body had already been dead for about 24 hours by then. He told us that the body should normally be taken away for embalming within a few hours of death and because it’s been such a long time after death, we had to be careful of bacteria from decomposition of the body. Well, that advice came a bit too late because we had already laid hands on the body for many hours. Laying hands on a dead body can be a bit freaky but we believed Romans 8:2 like John G. Lake – not only that nothing would harm us but also that the Spirit in us that gives life would be imparted to the dead body as we laid hands.
When we first decided to raise the dead, we actually faced some difficulty dealing with the Christian casket services. We needed a registered doctor to certify the death so that the police would leave the place and we could get some time to pray to raise the dead. As Curry mentioned, never allow the body to be taken to the mortuary because then you don’t get to pray much there. Anyway, the casket services normally provide both the doctor certifying the death and the rest of the arrangements needed (coffin, wake, funeral, etc.). When I helped to call a Christian casket service to ask if we could just get them to send the doctor to certify the death because we believed that we would not need the other services (why would you need the other services if the dead is raised?), they couldn’t understand me at all and continued speaking to me as if I were talking nonsense. I got so frustrated with trying to explain that we’re Christians and we believe in raising the dead because they responded pretty much ignoring what I’d said. Yes, a pretty foreign concept it is, raising the dead. You can’t blame them because that would have been a foreign concept to me too a few months back. The fact that raising the dead is a foreign concept for almost all Christians today shows how far we’ve fallen from the norm of the Bible and early Christianity.
Well, the person didn’t wake up despite hours of prayers but even during the wake service, we would still hold on to him being raised. When the Christian minister mentioned that this person was called to the Lord and acted as if it was over, we would just quietly reject that. When we viewed the body, we spoke to the person to wake up and arise, as Jesus did. Why accept defeat when it’s not over yet? Be it unto us according to our faith.
So what happened in the end? The dead person did not rise up. Why not? I dunno. Our lack of faith or our unbelief? Most probably. What I do know is that even as I laid hands on a dead person for hours, smelling the stench of death, I knew it’s not God’s will that a person dies this way. It brings no glory to God and it’s sickening. Sickness and death through sickness is sickening and I hate it. And I know God hates it too. Yes, we all have to die if the Lord tarries, but not this way.
I know thinking this way is pretty radical. Thinking we should be raising the dead is radical. Thinking that no Christian should die of sickness is radical. But I believe the only reason it’s radical is because of our Christian traditions based on a form of powerless Christianity. I can’t believe that if I so hate sickness and death, Daddy up there thinks any differently. The compassion for the sick and the hatred towards sickness did not originate from you or me, as if we’re somehow more compassionate than God. It’s the Christ in us who so hates sickness and disease and who has compassion for those facing it. It’s the mind of Christ in me that cannot accept all this.
“Yes, God hates sickness and disease but that’s only going to be fully eradicated only when Jesus returns again”, some may argue. Yes, total eradication will occur then but the only reason why the sick are not being healed and the dead are not being raised now regularly is because we’re not doing it – not because God doesn’t want to do it through us NOW! Our prayer and desire ought to be that God’s Kingdom come on this earth NOW! That’s God’s desire too. And I believe we’ll see more and more dead being raised over the next few decades before Jesus returns. And I’m going to be part of raising the dead. I have absolutely no doubt about that…
P.S.: I’m getting in touch with The Dead Raising Team to see what they can teach us.